Sure, there were billboards of half naked women and advertisements for "Girls direct to you, " but we recently had a great time in Las Vegas with the kids.
What started out as a quick stop for lunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill on our way to Los Angeles became a fun mini family vacation.
Our plans were to drive to Los Angeles to visit some friends when Rand realized that we would be driving right past Las Vegas. We have recently become huge Bobby Flay fans after enjoy some delicious recipes from his Mesa Grill cook book, so we couldn't resist stopping at the restaurant for lunch. Then we thought maybe we should stay the night in Vegas. After all, I had never been in Vegas at night. Maybe we could get a cheap hotel room. We could. Rand thought Circus, Circus might be fun for the kids and at $38 for the night, we were officially taking the kids to Vegas.
We got to Vegas around noon. Lunch at Mesa Grill was absolutely delicious. Then we wandered around Caesar's Palace (the hotel where the restaurant was located). It was very cool with its Roman decor. The mall had a cloud pattern painted on the ceiling and had lighting that gave it the feel of early evening. We tried walking to check out other hotels. I would not recommend this. Every hotel has free parking. Just drive to each one. Those suckers are big with the hotel, casino and mall in each one. They look close together on the map, but they are not. Eventually we hit the Excalibur, the Bellagio, and drove by and checked out the Luxor and New York, New York. Then we went back to Circus, Circus and watched a flying trapeze act. We really wanted to see the Treasure Island show and the Bellagio fountain show, but the Treasure Island show was canceled due to wind and after that it was time to get to dinner at the buffet before it closed. We wanted to go to the French Market at the Orleans, but it closed early, so we went to the buffet at Circus, Circus. Big Mistake! The banana cream pie was good, though...
Chillin' in front of a fountain at Caeser's Palace
Since we missed the Pirate Show and the fountains and realized that it was a 10 hour drive not 9 hours from LA home, we decided to stop back in Las Vegas on the way home. We stayed at Circus, Circus again mostly because it was cheap. The casino was trashy (yes, even more so than the other casinos) and the buffet was disgusting, but the rooms were fine.
This time we went to the French Market Buffet. It was great. Now, I need to get serious about losing weight after 2 all you can eat buffets in one week... We got to see the Treasure Island show. It was a bit suggestive, but I think it went over the kids heads. We also made it to the Bellagio Fountains and ended up seeing 3 shows because they were so cool. We also went to the bird habitat at the Flamingo and wandered around the Venetian where we got to see the indoor canal with gondolas and the Bellagio whose lobby decor was just fabulous.
What was really great was that all of this stuff was free, except the food of course. We didn't gamble, our hotel was cheap, and we had a great time. If we had had more time we would have hit the Mirage volcano, and the MGM lion habitat, Silverton's aquarium, Wynn's Lake of Dreams show, and Rio's show in the sky, all of which are also free.
Take the kids to Vegas, just don't stop walking while passing through casinos or you will get yelled at.